Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
As perfect as a concert video could be...
Larry L. Looney | Austin, Texas USA | 01/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...but then, I wouldn't have expected anything less from ECM, whose audio production values have been second to none for the forty-year span of its existence. The audio is crisp and full, perfectly balanced - and the video is simply amazing, shot with multiple cameras, with perfect lighting, employing precision editing and creative and subtle split-screens, all put together with the loving care that Manfred Eicher has exercised throughout his career. The soloists are featured at just the right moments, sometimes from varying angles so that the viewer can appreciate both the technique and emotion upon which the players draw. The project must have been quite a challenge both in staging the concert and capturing it for home viewers - multiple elements are combined flawlessly, including the Camarata Orchestra, the ERT Choir, an ensemble of traditional instruments (harp, Constantinople lyre, laouta, ney, kanonaki, santouri and bendir), with no less a vocal soloist than the amazing Maria Farantouri (a Greek national cultural treasure in her own right), with Eleni Karaindrou, the composer, on piano.
Eleni's music - for the many films of Theo Angelopoulos, as well as for other productions - is some of the most compelling music for films of our time. Rather than simply providing an audio backdrop for the images on the screen, she has an incredible way of getting inside the film itself. Her music becomes an inseparable part of the whole experience - a thread running through the tapestry. Angelopoulos summed it up nicely, commenting on her contributions to his works: `Eleni Karaindrou's music doesn't accompany the images - it penetrates the images, it becomes an inextricable part of the images. I would say it takes part of what is called "anima", so, in the end, you can't tell one from the other - that's how closely knit they are... I believe that Eleni is at the moment one of the best existing film musicians in the world.' He has said that he cannot imagine his films without her music as a part of them. Anyone who has seen them (and if you haven't, I can't recommend them highly enough) will no doubt know exactly what he means.
This DVD is nothing short of stunning - the quality of the performance, the compositions, the programming (juxtaposing pieces from various films and plays), the recording and the editing are first-rate. ECM's roster is filled with artists whose work presented in video format would be welcomed by fans around the world - especially those who live in areas not graced by tours. The label has released a couple of DVDs featuring the great pianist Keith Jarrett - I'd love to see them expand further in this area.
Normand Achim | 02/05/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, first of all the music is great as usual with Karaindrou. All the music on one DVD instead of 2 CD's is a plus. BUT, sitting that long watching the actual recording of, no matter how great it was, a show is a burn on anyone's mind. The show took place in 2005 when all the technical possibilities were available to make an awesome DVD. Inserts of movies etc. to make it lively. Obviously, there wasn't an artist directing the project.
I remember watching a short 5 minutes film on You Tube taking the form of a tribute to the music of Ulusses' Gaze and I was amazed. I guess the desire was NOT there to make something special out of something special.
So, if you buy the DVD, don't expect to see much. Put it on and listen to the music."